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Upset bid falls short for KU football in 16-13 defeat at Texas Tech

Matt Galloway
mgalloway@cjonline.com
Kansas quarterback Miles Kendrick rushes through the Texas Tech defense in the first half of Saturday's game at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. Kendrick was 17-for-29 passing for 102 yards in the Jayhawks' 16-13 defeat.

The losses keep piling up for Kansas football — both on the field and in the locker room.

The Jayhawks on Saturday dropped their ninth contest in nine tries this season, this time a 16-13 nail-biter to Texas Tech at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. The down-to-the-wire setback represented the 13th consecutive defeat for the program, which has lost 17 of its last 18 games dating back to Les Miles’ first season in Lawrence.

Worse yet, attrition continues on the KU sideline, where before play began the Jayhawks added a pair of starters, senior wide receiver Andrew Parchment and freshman center Garrett Jones, to its ever-growing did-not-dress list. KU was even without its defensive coordinator, as D.J. Eliot didn’t make the trip to Lubbock due to COVID-19 protocols.

Despite those absences, the Jayhawks put more than a scare into the Red Raiders.

Trailing 13-6 early in the fourth quarter, the KU (0-9, 0-8 Big 12) defense notched its fourth takeaway, this time on a forced fumble by defensive end Marcus Harris that was recovered by fellow freshman Caleb Taylor at the KU 41. Then, after 14- and 20-yard rushes by junior quarterback Miles Kendrick, freshman running back Daniel Hishaw evened the score at 13-all on a 12-yard scoring run with 10:46 remaining.

But Tech (4-6, 3-6) responded with a go-ahead 36-yard field goal by Jonathan Garibay that eked through for a 16-13 lead with 5:36 left. Then, facing a fourth-and-1 from its own 34, Hishaw lost a yard for the Jayhawks’ third turnover on downs, all on failed fourth-and-short rush attempts out of the shotgun.

Garibay was wide-right on a 45-yard try with 1:58 left, his third missed boot. The listless KU offense, however, couldn’t capitalize, unable to pick up a must-have fourth-and-4 from its own 34. Kendrick couldn’t connect with wideout Takulve Williams on the play, which resulted in the fourth and final turnover on downs for a Jayhawk offense that averaged just 2.9 yards per play.

Tech, a 26½-point favorite, took over and knelt away the remaining 58 seconds.

Freshman cornerback Karon Prunty had an interception and forced a fumble to lead the way for the Jayhawk defense, which also got a forced fumble from safety Nate Betts. KU lost sophomore Kenny Logan, its best player on both defense and special teams, after the safety’s inadvertent first-half collision with freshman linebacker Taiwan Berryhill, who was stretchered off after that play.

KU’s final shot at avoiding what would be the program’s third-ever winless campaign will come in a rescheduled 2:30 p.m. Dec. 12 contest against Texas at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.